Water Aerobics for Beginners

Why fry in scorching summer temps when one of the best ways to tone up can be found below the water’s surface?  Water offers heavy resistance.  In fact, water offers about 12 times the resistance of air.  That means performing water aerobics engages more muscle fibers and burns more calories in a shorter amount of time.  The best part?  You don’t need to know how to churn out laps in order to get a solid workout in your pool.  Scroll down as we share a beginner’s guide to water aerobics. 

Water aerobics is one of the most rapidly growing trends in exercise today. It’s now practiced by people of all ages, including children and the elderly, both in the backyard as well as community center pools. This no-to low-impact form of exercise is ideal for weight loss, athletic training, pregnant women, rehabilitation, and stroke victims, to name a few. It is also highly effective for those suffering from chronic diseases or conditions, such as arthritis, partial paralysis, or fibromyalgia.

For specialized situations, such as those listed above, be sure to consult with a doctor before beginning any exercise routine. If your doctor does not have any resources for you, a quick search on the Internet will give you options in your area. So if you have a backyard pool or access to a community pool, this quick list of routines will put you on the path to wellness faster than you can say “Marco Polo!”

Here are a few simple exercises to help you get started:

Aqua Walking/Jogging

One of the fastest ways to get fit on land is equally effective in the water.  Make no mistake:  Aqua walking is seriously tough.  You may use a belt for an extra challenge, but I recommend simply walking or jogging from one end of the pool to the other.  You will work up a sweat!

Tombstone Kick

If you do own a kickboard, hold on with both hands so that it’s vertical (rounded edges up) and half of it is below the surface of the water.  Now, push off the wall with your feet holding the kickboard in a tombstone position and kick as hard as you can to the opposite side of the pool.   

If you don’t own a kickboard, simply hold on to the edge of the pool for this exercise and kick with your feet for one minute.  This is a great total body exercise for your back, arms, legs, butt, and abs. 

Dolphin Tail

Ready to work out your abs and lower body?  Go to the deep end of the pool.  Now, make sure your arms are out to your sides and your legs extended beneath you.  Engaging your abs, squeeze your legs together and sweep them backward, bending your knees slightly, and then quickly extend them forward (like a dolphin’s tail).  Make sure to counterbalance the motion by sweeping your arms in the opposite direction of your legs. To get an idea, watch this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VMCM7wSHqUM.

Vertical Breaststroke

Treading water towards the deep end, grasp each end of a kickboard and hold it above your head.  (You can do this exercise without a kickboard, but it’s easier using one.) Now, extend your legs below you and then thrust your legs out back in forth in a scissor kick motion.  You’ll be surprised how much you’ll feel this on your abs, butt, hips, and inner thighs.   To watch a visual of how it’s done, view this short video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9k9okDhoOws.


Did these water aerobics help you?  If you’d like to try another new exercise, I recommend a 5-Minute Introduction to Pilates.  And be sure to subscribe to my newsletter to receive more helpful blog posts straight to your inbox each Friday. 

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